For the prosecutor, Louis A. Fast and Samuel I. Kessler.
For the city of Clifton, John G. Dluhy.
Before Justices Bodine and Perskie.
The opinion of the court was delivered by
PERSKIE, J. Did the State Board of Tax Appeals err, as it is claimed it did, in denying prosecutor's asserted right to exemption of taxation of the lands allegedly used or dedicated for cemetery purposes?
Three cases involving the stated question were pending before the State Board of Tax Appeals for its consideration and determination. In each case the petitioner below sought to cancel the assessment levied by the city of Clifton, as of October 1st, 1937, for the year 1938, on its particular premises, which assessment as levied was affirmed, on appeal, by the Passaic County Board of Taxation. By concession of counsel for the respective parties the three appeals before the state board were tried, considered and determined together.
For a better understanding of the case at bar a brief statement of facts and disposition made of each case is necessary even though the judgment in one of the cases is not challenged.
1. West Ridgelawn Cemetery, a corporation organized under the Rural Cemetery act (now R.S. 8:1-1, et seq.) appealed from the assessment on its lands, consisting of about sixty acres, known as Plot No. 25, Block No. 270, No. 25 Dwas Line Road. The State Board of Tax Appeals pointed out that there had been, since the decision of the Court of Errors and Appeals in West Ridgelawn Cemetery v. Clifton, 109 N.J.L. 146; 160 A. 534, a "marked development in the cemetery use of this tract," and that the entire tract "has been fully plotted and planned for such use." Accordingly, it determined that the entire tract was exempt from taxation and canceled the assessment. That determination is not challenged.
2. The West Ridgelawn Cemetery and the Cresthaven Cemetery Association, the latter a business corporation organized under our General Corporation act (R.S. 14:1-1, et seq.) appealed from the assessment on its lands (about fourteen
and one-half acres) and chapel, known as Plot No. 30, Block 281, No. 30 Passaic avenue. Joint ownership was alleged. The stated grievance was that the total assessment of $15,400 ($12,900 on land and $2,500 on improvements) was "in excess of the true value."
3. Cresthaven Cemetery Association also appealed from the assessment on its lands (about three and one-half acres) known as Plot No. 30, Block 281, No. 30A Passaic avenue. It alleged that it owned the land. Its grievance also was that the total ...